Blog 5: Why I Believe in the Paranormal 5: The Spirits of Pennsylvania’s Past.

The Spirits of Pennsylvania’s Past

Logo Dover Paranormal

I am greatly indebted to Tim Miles and his Dover Paranormal Investigators for all the information, photographs, audio and video material included in this blog. Without Tom’s generous help and encouragement, this blog could not have been written. Any inadvertent errors in this blog are, however, entirely my own.

“Now I know what a ghost is. Unfinished business, that’s what.”  ― Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises.”

— J.M. Barrie

A Log House, Manchester Township, York County, Pennsylvania, 1840

It was dark and a little creepy in Mary Leber’s favourite corner on the north east side of the attic that ran along the entire length of the log cabin above the spacious single room of the second floor, and the rooms of the ground floor with its two front doors. Sometimes, Mary was joined by her younger sister Sarah who loved to tie her hair with blue ribbons. Before the girls had moved into the house during the year of 1839 with their father John, wife Anna and seven other children, the cabin had already stood on this spot for nearly one hundred years and sheltered five generations of Pennsylvania’s early settlers from the heat of summer and cold of winter frost and snow.

The Relocated Log Cabin to the Dover Area, York County, 2011.

Seventy one years later, both time and the log cabin had moved on. Due for demolition in the early 1980’s, a contractor began removing the boarding that had clad the cabin for many years after it fell into disuse and discovered that, since the building was constructed of logs, it was of great historical interest.

Log Cabin 1980s

In view of its historical interest, the log cabin was offered free to anyone willing to organize its relocation and renovation. A teacher from the local Dover High School and his students took up the offer and dismantled, moved and then reconstructed the log cabin in the Dover area where the log house is now used by community meeting point for parties and meetings.

Reconstructed Log Cabin Labelled

1. Visual Evidence.

The evidence of paranormal activity in the reconstructed log house garnered by Tom Miles, Donna Golob and their team is both varied and copious ranging from sightings with the naked eye, ghostly images captured by infra red cameras and videos, to the eerie disembodied voices captured by the tape recorder as electronic voice phenomena (EVPs). Some of the early evidence that team collected such as floating orbs was only visible on video, but on two occasions, witnesses saw spirits directly with their own eyes.

A. Orbs – Floating Balls of Ephemeral Light Seen on the DVR Camera.

Unseen by the human eye, a ball of ghostly light rises up effortlessly through the wooden floor to inspect a pile of toys left as visual ‘bait’ in the corner of the attic

(Click the above link to view this 5-second clip – twice normal speed). The orb is clearly not floating dust, or a flying insect reflecting the light; it seems to be moving around the attic with intelligent purpose – it approaches the top of the stairs as if to check who was coming up to the attic from the second floor (Click the link below).

As the living human investors set themselves close to what they had come to call ‘Mary’s corner’, the orb approaches the group whenever they ask Mary a question and then retreats back to her corner. After fifteen minutes of these repeated migrations, the orb sinks down through the attic floor and disappears from the video camera’s view. The orb’s behaviour and Tom’s knowledge of the direction of air currents in the attic convinces him they were not filming floating dust or flying bugs as some sceptics have suggested.

On another occasion Brittany, a sensitive medium, is seen reacting strongly and running away when the video recording shows an orb she does not see passing over her head.

(Click the 5 second clip above to see the investigator’s reaction).

Tom, the chief investigator, can also sense the energy of spirits and uses these as clues as to when to take photographs. None of the investigators have to date, however, reported a sharp drop in temperature which investigators at other haunted sites have reported when an apparition materializes.

B. Direct Visual Sightings of Spirits.

There have also been two direct sightings of spirits in the log cabin.

Two investigators, planning to take independent multiple photographs of one area at the same instant, caught a glimpse of a small shadow of a child waving to them as they climbed the stairs to the attic. Unfortunately, they were so dumbfounded that they forgot to take photographs of the ghostly apparition.

The second sighting was by a man and daughter arriving early at the log house for a party. As they approached the building, the girl looked up to the second floor window and asked “Daddy, who’s the little girl up there?” The father asked why she asked this question and she replied, “There was a little girl looking at me.” When the father looked up, the phantom girl had disappeared, but he did see the curtain swing back to the side of the window. No one was on the second floor at that time and the door was locked – the only keys were with the employees.

C. Sightings with Invisible Light (Infra red – IR) Photographs.  ghost in museum.

In one experiment, Tom set up an infra-red video camera close to a wall and opposite a mirror.

IR Camera - Mirror Experiment

On review the resulting video, he glimpsed an apparition crossing the mirror.

During an unrelated investigation, Tom Miles captured a very convincing picture of a ghostly apparition in a museum featuring exhibits related to a shipwreck on the nearby beach in which over a hundred of early settlers sailing to America from Northern Ireland drowned.

Museum Ghost
Museum Ghost

2. Poltergeist – Type Evidence.

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!  –  Traditional Scottish Prayer

The Dover team experienced at least three poltergeist-like phenomena.  A poltergeist can be defined as a ghost or other paranormal entity that creates physical disturbances such rearranging the position of objects, throwing objects into the air, or making loud, unexplainable noises.

The Dover team experienced at least three poltergeist-like phenomena.  A poltergeist can be defined as a ghost or other paranormal entity that creates physical disturbances such rearranging the position of objects, throwing objects into the air, or making loud, unexplainable noises.

The first night of investigation in the log cabin in 2011 proved to be very eventful. Sitting on the second floor, the team heard the very loud rattling of filing cabinets that had no obvious physical explanation since there was no heavy traffic passing the cabin.  On another occasion, a chair began to vibrate violently while a chair immediately next to it did not move.

Poltergeists are often reported to move objects around in a house. One employee had an alarming experience while laying out trays of food and large-scale character cut outs from the TV series “Thomas the Tank”. Having laid out the food and cut outs like a train interior, she left the log cabin to bring more items for the party locking the door behind her. On returning an hour later, she found the trays and cut outs had been completely rearranged.

One night, an investigator sitting on the stairs to the third floor was bombarded by clay pellets derived from an old wasps’ nest. A few projectiles missed their human target and fell down the stairs to the second floor were their impact on the wooden floor was captured in an audio recording.

3. Other Sensory Evidence.

Many of the paranormal investigators reported being touched or poked in the log cabin. On one occasion, an investigator ascending the second floor stairs felt someone blowing strongly in her ear and beat a hasty retreat.

4. Motion Detectors.

In one interesting experiment, the team placed a motion detector on the third floor. Immediately after the creaking of floors boards was picked up on a video recording, the detector was set off by something and emitted its extremely loud screeching alarm.  A team member climbed the stairs to switch off the extremely annoying noise. As he headed off down to the second floor, the video recording picked up a creepy cackling – perhaps in a fit of ghostly humour, a spirit seemed to laugh at the disturbance it had caused.

5. SoundElectronic Voice Phenomena (EVPs)

An electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) is a sound, inaudible to the human ear, that is recorded on a piece of electronic equipment such as a microphone attached to a tape recorder. The Dover team obtained many excellent Grade A EVPs. The spirit voice on a Grade A EVP recording is very clear and distinct.  It is also loud enough to be heard without the aid of headphones and its meaning understandable to anyone listening to it without any audio cleaning or prompting as to its meaning in advance.

The team has recorded some very convincing electronic voice phenomena (EVPs) in which spirits responding directly to questions asked by the human investigators.

One night as the team were leaving the house they called out “Thank you for talking with us.” To which they received a disembodied question “Why” followed by another voice saying “Bye.”

Perhaps the most amazing example was an EVP recorded in the attic when a very clear and loud girl’s voice called out hullo using the word “Hi – yer.”

At that very instant, the K2 EMF monitor showed an extra green light as it picked up a strong electromagnetic field in the area. The appearance of a ghost often seems to cause a sudden increase in the electromagnetic fields in an area.

The team has recorded a number of spirit answers in response to their questions. The following example was recorded on the second floor.

Investigator:                “Mary where are you?”

Spirit’s Response:         “I’m right here.”

Investigator:                “OK we are going down stairs now.”

Spirit’s Response:        “Can you please stay a while.”   (Link)

While on the first floor, a spirit responded to a challenge by tapping.

Investigator:                “If someone is here can you give me a sign, a knock, a tap, bang on                                              the floor, a wall, or the door.” (Link)

Tom once bribed the spirit, they think of Mary’s father John, with the promise of food.



From the other side of the room came a loud tapping which was so loud that it was clearly audible to other investigators sitting on the third floor. The tapping continued for several minutes but then abruptly stopped when the investigators came down stairs. The team, wondering if the sound came from outside, checked around the exterior of the building.  They failed to find any tracks in the layer of snow that had fallen during the day. The tapping had been mysteriously generated inside the cabin by an unknown force/agent.

In another incident, Investigators found a ball on the second floor and were taking it up to the attic when half way up the stairs an EVP picked up the comment “Get the ball.”

Other EVPs seemed to confirm spirit John’s surprising interest in food.

One night, an investigator called out “Mr John we gave Mary a doll and would like to bring you something.”  To which question they received the disembodied answer – “Bring …. Me …… Food.”


In another EVP, we hear a voice, which the team believe is John, calling very softly “Mary”. A little later an older male voice says “Mary bring me some food, fooood,” accompanied by the sound of a cane banging on the floor. Were these both the voices of Mary’s father John – the first when he was younger ,and the second when as an old man he might have needed to use a walking stick? When the team obtained evidence that Mary’s younger sister, Sarah was one of the spirits, they checked back carefully through their archive of female-voice EVPs and discovered that there were two distinct voices and not a single spirit voice as they first assumed.

Final Conclusion.

Tom and his Dover Paranormal Research Team believe that the spirits in the log house were members of the Leber family – John, his wife Anna, and two of his daughters Mary and Sarah who lived in the building for ten years, over one-and-a -half centuries ago. The historical record revealed that the only family whose members had the names John, Mary and Sarah were the Leber family who lived in the log house between 1839 and 1849.

The fact that the team came up with all three of these names before they consulted the historical record is very significant statistically. Let’s assume that all these names were in the top ten of the most popular male and female names in the mid-nineteenth century. The chance of them deriving the name John by chance would then be one in ten (probability fraction 1/10). Similarly, the random chance for the name Mary would be one in ten. Applying the Law of Coincident Happenings, the combined chanced for deriving both names (Mary and Sarah) at random is 1/10 multiplied by 1/10 ((1/10)2 = 1 in 100 ).  If the third name Sarah is included, the random chance becomes 1/103 – which is one in a thousand.  This statistical point, combined with the other evidence accumulated by the team, makes the Dover Paranormal Investigators’ results among the most convincing of all the cases of the paranormal and the existence of some form of consciousness beyond the grave.


I would like to add a final comment. The Dover Paranormal Research Team is to be congratulated on their strict scientific attitudes and meticulous methods they bring to their investigation.

There is, however, a second important factor. As Tom Miles comments, the numerous excellent Grade A EVPs the team has recorded are due in large part to the excellent relation they have nurtured with the spirits who seem to have resided in the log house for nearly two centuries. They have brought a touch of compassion and humanity to what otherwise would be a cold, scientific investigation. They have also, as Tom stresses, been investigating not only the paranormal, but also the history of the early settlers of Pennsylvania.  They have indeed captured the spirit sights and sounds of Pennsylvania’s past.

Contact information:
Logo Dover Paranormal





Link to the full length video recordings on YouTube